AUSTIN, Texas - The federal government will reimburse the state of Texas and affected local governments for 100 percent of eligible emergency debris-removal work and emergency protective measures performed for a 14-day period retroactive to Sept. 13, the date of President Bush's major disaster declaration for Hurricane Ike.
The reimbursement can be for work undertaken by state and local authorities. It can also cover costs of direct assistance provided by federal agencies if state or local government cannot perform or contract for the work.
"This reimbursement will provide a valuable boost to Texas communities launching into recovery efforts in Ike's aftermath," said Sandy Coachman, Federal Coordinating Officer with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"Getting roads, public buildings and critical facilities free of debris will help to protect lives and speed response and recovery," said State Coordinating Officer Joan Haun of the Texas Governor's Division of Emergency Management. "And reimbursement for essential emergency measures will help ease the burden on communities consumed by disaster-related efforts."
On Sept. 13, President Bush designated 29 counties eligible for debris-removal reimbursement under FEMA's Public Assistance program. On Sept. 14, he authorized emergency protective measures intended to protect lives and public property - such as shelter operations, sandbagging, pumping and emergency-responder overtime.
Usually, state and local governments would be responsible for paying the non-federal cost share. But now, the federal government will cover 100 percent of eligible costs during the designated two-week period.
Public Assistance provides reimbursements to state and local governments and certain nonprofit organizations for disaster-related work.
The designated counties are Angelina, Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Cherokee, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Houston, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Nacogdoches, Newton, Orange, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller and Washington.
Bush also designated these counties for FEMA's Individual Assistance program, which provides aid to individuals and households.